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5 Operating Systems Starting 2011 With a Bang

By Paul Rubens (Send Email)
Posted Jan 19, 2011


2011 has only just begun, and already there is plenty going on in the world of OS software. From Apple OS X Lion to Microsoft Windows 8, here are the top 5 noteworthy OS developments.

1. Apple OS X Lion: App Store Trademark Troubles

2011 has only just begun, and already there is plenty going on in the world of OS software. From Apple OS X Lion to Microsoft Windows 8, here are the top 5 noteworthy OS developments.

Flushed with the success of the App Store for its mobile iOS operating system, Apple has recently introduced the Mac App Store for its desktop OS X operating system. Its software marketplaces are central to Apple's plan of taking a cut of every application bought to run on its operating systems, and way back in 2008 the company applied for a trademark for the name "App Store."

What's happened since then is that every operating system maker and his dog, from Google to Research In Motion to Microsoft, has decided to set up similar software download emporiums for their OSes, and Microsoft for one is not too keen on the idea of having "App Store" as a trademark.

That's why Microsoft filed a motion last week asking for a summary judgment refusing registration of "App Store" on the grounds that "the combined term 'App Store' is commonly used in the trade, by the general press, by consumers, by Apple's competitors and even by Apple's founder and CEO Steve Jobs, as the generic name for online stores featuring apps ... App store is a generic name that Apple should not be permitted to usurp for its exclusive use."

A tad unfair on Apple, perhaps? After all, until Apple introduced the App Store these sorts of software emporiums were common only in the Linux world, with the predictably un-catchy name of "repositories" or "repos."

2. Microsoft Windows 8: New Apps, New App Store

Hot on the news that Windows 8 will be engineered to run on ARM-based chips as well as the traditional Intel/AMD duopoly comes strong but unconfirmed indication (which basically means rumor) from Windows-watcher Paul Thurrott that Windows 8 will sport an alternative tile-based UI called Mosh. That ties in nicely with the idea of Windows 8 on tablet devices, and it could provide a way of getting the Windows Phone 7 look and feel on an ARM-based tablet device running Windows 8.

Thurrott and fellow Microsoft commentator Mary-Jo Foley also believe Windows 8 will embrace a new "app model," codenamed Jupiter, which will result in Silverlight-based "immersive" applications that are deployed as AppX packages (.appx). These will be made available in a new Windows Marketplace repository or -- if Microsoft's trademark action is successful -- maybe a Windows Marketplace App Store?

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